Recent content by TheBloke

  1. TheBloke

    SAS2 expanders $60 (IBM, LSI chip, Intel alternative)

    Thanks for the details, @BLinux . My first thought when I read your post was "ahhh, you don't have SATA drives!" Meaning I'd think it was almost expected that you would potentially not see issues that others have, and instead have different issues; based on my experience of expanders in...
  2. TheBloke

    SAS2 expanders $60 (IBM, LSI chip, Intel alternative)

    Hi all I've been spending the last couple of days doing tests and benchmarks. I'm going to write it all up when I have completed all the test I want to do. But I thought I'd post immediately regarding an interesting thing I just discovered: The drive-detection problem with 510A is definitely...
  3. TheBloke

    SAS2 expanders $60 (IBM, LSI chip, Intel alternative)

    I plan to re-do all my benchmarks in the next day or two. Particularly as I inevitably crumbled to temptation and bought that Intel expander :) I found someone in the UK selling it a bit cheaper, and they took an offer for another £5 off. It arrived today, so I plan to try it out soon...
  4. TheBloke

    SAS2 expanders $60 (IBM, LSI chip, Intel alternative)

    Thanks for the results, @TrevInCarlton My first question is: if you only have 16 drives, and you have 2 x HBAs with 2 x SFF-8087 ports each.. why do you need an expander at all? Are you planning to add more drives in the near future? If you're not, I'd have to question even using the...
  5. TheBloke

    SAS2 expanders $60 (IBM, LSI chip, Intel alternative)

    By the way, if you're still having trouble identifying the FW on this card, here's two ways: When booted into an Linux install (eg for FW upgrading) just run lsscsi, which will list all connected SAS/SATA devices, and list the FW version alongside the name of the IBM Expander. In FreeNAS, you...
  6. TheBloke

    SAS2 expanders $60 (IBM, LSI chip, Intel alternative)

    Ah very nice. I just tried BlackMagic from MacOS 10.13 to my server and got 600MB/s writes and 900MB/s reads over a single 10Gbe Intel X520 (patched to enable use of SmallTree drivers; I imagine you use something similar? I'm not aware of many 10Gbe NICs with MacOS support.) I tend to do my...
  7. TheBloke

    SAS2 expanders $60 (IBM, LSI chip, Intel alternative)

    I've just updated my earlier post with what I am 99% sure is a link to the 510A FW. I already had it downloaded, but didn't upload it earlier because the FW file is referred to as 440A, not 510A. But I've done some more Googling and found a document that indicates that 440A and 510A are likely...
  8. TheBloke

    SAS2 expanders $60 (IBM, LSI chip, Intel alternative)

    I tested every single FW from 510A to 634A, and found: 510A was the only one that got dual-link (2 x 6Gb) performance And therefore I believe also the only one that could instead run 20 drives in a single HBA-cable config 510A was the only one with the staggered-power-on problem. That was...
  9. TheBloke

    SAS2 expanders $60 (IBM, LSI chip, Intel alternative)

    I've now done 10 minutes of research on this. There's an Intel 24-port SAS2/SATA3 expander, the RES2SV240, which I guess that may be the "Intel" mentioned in the title of this thread, which our IBM is the 'alternative' to. Although there's also a 36-port Intel which is much more capable, but...
  10. TheBloke

    SAS2 expanders $60 (IBM, LSI chip, Intel alternative)

    Great, glad to hear you've got the FW updated OK @TrevInCarlton ! And thanks for the details with 510A. Good to know I'm not the only one experiencing that issue - I was starting to wonder if I was leading everyone astray, describing an issue that actually no-one but me had :) I can't say I...
  11. TheBloke

    SAS2 expanders $60 (IBM, LSI chip, Intel alternative)

    Hmm, interesting. Assuming you've confirmed that all your backplanes always work when connected directly to your HBA, I'm wondering if your issue 1 is not only related to mine, but is in fact the exact same issue as my "staggered power-on" - just with far less severe and intermittent symptoms...
  12. TheBloke

    SAS2 expanders $60 (IBM, LSI chip, Intel alternative)

    Regarding workarounds to the staggered-power-on-issue: It wouldn't be hard to come up with a nicer, automatic solution using a timer. Such that turning on the server would then turn on the disk enclosure automatically, X seconds later. Someone earlier in the post mentioned a device called...
  13. TheBloke

    SAS2 expanders $60 (IBM, LSI chip, Intel alternative)

    Yes, sadly all FW after 510A appears to have a performance issue in any setup where two cables are used to connect the expander to HBA. Two cables provide around 1.1x the performance of one cable, versus the expected 1.8 - 2x performance gain. So why upgrade? Because double-sadly, 510A also has...
  14. TheBloke

    SAS2 expanders $60 (IBM, LSI chip, Intel alternative)

    PS. In the above guide I say you need a Linux system. I saw an earlier post in this thread, by @SIlviu , indicating that they had sg_write_buffer on Windows and were running the flash on Windows. So I guess it may also be possible to do this on Windows, because the same sg_* tools are...
  15. TheBloke

    SAS2 expanders $60 (IBM, LSI chip, Intel alternative)

    For anyone confused as to how to flash the FW: And here's a new guide for those still having trouble: When you follow this guide, make sure there are no drives connected to the IBM Expander. I'd also recommend having no other expanders or drives connected, as this makes it easier to find...